If you have a study hall why not schedule a lesson once a week or once every two weeks. Get help with the music that you might not be playing perfectly. Being able to perform your music without any mistakes will make a HUGE difference in the sound and performance level of the ensembles you are in. During your next ensemble rehearsal, notice where you are having trouble. Here’s what you should listen for:
- WRONG NOTES – Wrong notes are ones that don’t seem to fit with what everybody else is playing or singing. If you play (or sing) a wrong note, you should mark it with a pencil.
- WRONG RHYTHMS – Wrong rhythms are those that feel out-of-place and not synchronizing with the rest of the ensemble. Can you ‘count’ the rhythm? (1 e + a, 2 e + a, 3 e + a, 4 e + a) … etc.. You should also mark incorrect rhythms.
- KEY SIGNATURE – What are the notes are affected by the key signature? Can you play the scale associated with the KEY SIGNATURE of the piece of music?
- TIME SIGNATURE – The number of beats in a measure AND the kind of note that represents the beat. Can you explain the parts of a TIME SIGNATURE? (top number, bottom number)
- ARTICULATIONS – Accents (>), staccato (.), tenuto (-), crescendos and decrescendos, dynamics (pp) pianissimo, (p) piano, (mp) mezzo piano, (mf) mezzo forte, ( f) forte, (ff) fortissimo and MANY others markings in music that make to performance expressive.
- BALANCE and BLEND – Does your sound blend with the ensemble? Can you hear yourself ALONG WITH the ensemble?
- TONE – Is the sound you are making pleasant or not so pleasant?
- INTONATION – Are you in tune? Not just the tuning note, but ALL THE NOTES!
These are but a few of many elements of musical performance. A music ensemble of any kind is only as good as the performance level of the members of the group. Progress in a music ensemble is not made by leaps and bounds. It is made in small and seemingly insignificant steps of the members who strive for a HIGHER LEVEL of INDIVIDUAL EXCELLENCE.
You can make a HUGE difference to the ensemble you are in simply by taking private lessons that are designed just for you.